Let’s face it–we’re misfits. The internet is driven by a force of nerds, geeks, dorks, and fringe enthusiasts. We’re the ones reading blogs, writing blogs, searching Etsy for Dalek art, and furiously pinning Dumbledore quotes to our eclectic boards.
And we like it. We think it’s cool. What’s more, we want our kids to be cool too. But at what cost? Do we really want them to be ostracized, marginalized and teased like we were? Definitely not!
And therein lies the rub.
So we do all we can to make sure our kids are happy and liked and socially acceptable to spare them the discomfort we may have felt at one time or another. And yet. . . we turned out OK in spite of (because of?) the angsty injustices of growing up.
I chatted a bit about this on Huffpost Live last Friday. Kristen Rutherford suggested that indoctrinating her daughter into nerd culture might be setting her up for teasing (but of course she’s doing it anyway–bravo). I don’t know. I think as parents we should stop over-thinking everything. We need to admit that maybe–just maybe–we can’t predict what is going to be cool and acceptable for our kids. We are parents and so–by definition–we’re the squares now. All we can do is love our kids and show them all the other stuff we also love. They will reject it or accept it, much like we did with our parents’ lame music and interests.
America in Prime Time devotes an entire episode to “the Misfit” on TV. I love this quote from George Meyer, a writer for The Simpsons,
“If you were one of the popular people in high school you were at the center of the action and you weren’t observing it and you weren’t having thoughts about it really because you were living it. And the envy and the resentment and all these emotions [that "misfits" feel] kind of make the creative person want to do a satirical take on it. ”
I guess that’s how so many misfits end up writing blogs and I guess we can take heart that whether our kids are participating earnestly on the Prom planning committee or making ironic playlists to listen to when they don’t get asked, they could (probably will) turn out OK. Just like we did.